5 crucial takeaways from LA Rams Thursday Night Football game

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams special teams are improving

The LA Rams special teams are by no means setting the NFL on fire. But the fact remains that the Rams will not be the NFL’s best in everything. So improving the least on the team will have the biggest overall impact on the team’s success.  And yes, the Rams’ worst group so far is the special teams’ play.

We can start off with the play of the punting and punt coverage play. Punter Johnny Hekker did not have the type of game we had hoped for. He punted six times for 248 yards. Of those, Patriots punt returner Gunner Olszewski returned five punts for 47 yards. While that is not great, the Rams did not allow Olszewski to score. Meanwhile, Patriots punter Jake Bailey had a monster game, punting six times for 310 yards, including one for 71 yards that were downed inside the Rams 10 yard line.

The Rams returned one punt for eight yards. And the Rams had Van Jefferson return one kick for 13 yards. While neither return went for a score, it did prove to be an improvement of sorts.  You see, in two returns they did not fumble a punt nor a kickoff.

Kicks getting better too

The LA Rams had quite the puzzlement when kicker Matt Gay appeared on the team’s injury at point-blank range on Wednesday citing a shoulder injury. The enigma graduated into true concern when the team elevated K Austin MacGinnis to the game roster. But it was all a cautionary tale, as the Rams did see Gay kick throughout the contest.

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And it was good that he did too. He was flawless. He kicked a field goal and all three extra points (yes, 3 for 3 on extra points is cause to celebrate). Plus, he was great on kickoffs, ensuring that the Patriots routinely had to settle for the football at their 25-yard line. We’ve been through a lot of kickers this year. Matt Gay is the one we should keep.